Looking For Love In All The Foreign Places: Your Guide To Dating In China


You’ve made it to China to work as an English teacher. You spend each day helping your students learn, but during your down time, you’re lonely. You’re looking for someone to keep you company during your free time. You’re looking for the opportunity to start dating, but where do you start?

Dating apps are the latest and greatest way to meet new people and have become a large part of modern dating culture worldwide. Regardless of what dating apps you already have, they may not be the perfect app to find people specifically in China.

While you could simply go out and meet people the old fashioned way, technology has made it so much easier to meet people in close proximity to you, with similar interests too.

There are plenty of dating apps available in China to help you connect with others. Tantan and Momo are two of the most popular dating apps you can try.

 1. Tantan

Tantan is known as the Chinese Tinder, since it uses the same ‘swipe left or right’ feature. This means the app will be easy to use and navigate if you’re already a Tinder user. One of the greatest benefits of Tantan is that it’s available in English- the perfect option for English teachers in China.
This app’s fun ‘ice breaker’ feature is a great way to start conversations with other users. The Tantan app boasts many young, urban users in the large database and is extremely easy to use too.

 2. Momo

The number one dating app in China, Momo works according to your location. Momo’s focus is to be an interest-based social networking platform. This has placed Momo in a more culturally acceptable light, and less as a booty-call platform.
With a variety of add-on features, this app allows users to not only discover people nearby, but provides the option to play games or join groups. Since Momo is available in many other countries around the world and has a large database of users, it’s the perfect app to help you find some company while working as an expat in China.
Helpful tips for dating in China

Compared to many western nations, what is deemed culturally appropriate in China is sometimes very different. The Chinese dating culture is rather conservative with the media promoting ‘family values’.

1. Learn about dating etiquette

Casual dating in China is virtually unheard of since most Chinese nationals tend to marry quite young and only seriously date the man or woman whom they marry. This mentality is slowly starting to change among younger generations. Most young women tend to marry in order to satisfy their parents’ wishes.

Most often, they will marry a man who is well-educated with a good job and is potentially a high-earner, rather than a man they truly love or the western ideal of “Mr Right”.

Instead of casual dating, people are usually set up by mutual acquaintance or meet within a group setting. If a Chinese girl agrees to a date with man, it is assumed that she sees him as a candidate for marriage.
So, if you find yourself on a date with a Chinese girl, expect the topic of marriage to come up at some time or another.

2. Terms of endearment

The Chinese are different once again in the way they communicate their affection compared to western relationships. More often than not, they do not use words too casually to express their affection nor will they engage in any physical displays of affection like saying “I miss you” or even holding your hand.
Expressing your affection either physically or verbally tends to show that you view your partner as a future spouse.

3. Make your intentions clear

Unlike in many western nations, virginity is still important in China. If you are simply looking for a hook up while in China, make that clear to your partner. Many Chinese citizens remain virgins until they marry, and a lot of the time it’s a deal-breaker for marriage.

Be sure to make your intentions clear to your partner—if it is casual dating you are after, you don’t want to disappoint your partner who expects your relationship to end in marriage. 

Take these tips to heart and do a little research into dating culture and etiquette of the region where you’re living. Whether you’re out to meet someone the old fashioned way, or have already downloaded Tantan or Momo, happy dating while you are in China.